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Orchids outdoors in Illinois?

This is a discussion on Orchids outdoors in Illinois? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I live in Illinois and want to grow orchids outdoors like lady's slipper orchids. Where ...

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  1. #1
    Greg is offline Junior Member
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    Default Orchids outdoors in Illinois?

    I live in Illinois and want to grow orchids outdoors like lady's slipper orchids. Where do I start and I don't want to spend lots of money only to lose them in the first year.

  2. #2
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    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Hi Greg, thanks for registering.

    Many types of orchids can be grown outdoors in spring, summer, and early fall; maybe other members at your latitude can give you some specific recommendations.

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    When you say "Lady slipper" do you mean the local hardy type referred to as Cypripedium or the semi tropical type referred to as Paphiopedilum?

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    I was going to ask the same question Mike did.

    I have a feeling you mean outdoors all year. There are a good number you could try, but I've never found any of them to be inexpensive. Most are very expensive, but then again I think any plant over $15 is expensive. I'm cheap.

    If you do decide to try some, be careful where you buy them for a variety of reasons.

    One you might try is Bletilla stiata (not a Ladyslipper). I know, they are not supposed to be hardy in your zone or even mine, but there is a person in St. Paul, MN who has grown these outdoors for many years now. He does mulch them very heavily for winter, though.

    Kevin

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    I am going to have to think about these Bletilla stiata They may do good here in GA Thanks for the sujestion Kev!!! I may have to look ans see whatelse I can grow outdoors year round here and make my yard an orchid paridise!!! he he he You really know your an orchid nut when you want orchids everywhere!! Thanks again Kev!!

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    Josh

    I know it's hardy in your area. Check out the different varieties of Bletilla. There are some really nice ones and they are usually very cheap. You can even find them at places like HD for about $5. If mine were larger (I have three varieties), I would offer you some, but I just got them last year.

    Kev

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    Greg,

    As to your question, the Cypripediums that are native to North America, don't tend to grow very well in cultivation and do tend to be expensive. You can toss a lot of money trying to naturalize your yard with them. There are some good vendor Web sites that indicate how difficult the plant is and what zones it's best suited for.

    Louis, I can't remember the post where I listed a Cyp site I found, but you responded with several others and somewhere in there I found very good information on plant hardiness and fussiness.

    Julie

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    ok I may be talking out my butt, but I think the main problem Cyps do not do well is because the area where they are trying to be planted is not naturalized with the proper fungas. I have been reading on the relationship between orchids and fungus. There are some terestrials that realy solely on fungas for nutients they got rid of photosynthesis alltogether. The only way we know they are there is because the still have to bloom above ground. This is just a theory so far and not been prooven by myself yet. We all know orchids require fungas to germinate so it makes total sence that they can benefit from it during growth. Cyps and other terestrial just realy on it more than epyphytes. There was a really good article about it in the last AOS mag. It didn't go into much detail on what types of fungus, but you may be able to find out more with just a little research. There was a guy selling Cyp seed on ebay and even some plants and I don't remember how much they were, but I don't recall them being that much. His post said they grow in leaf mold, but I'm not sure if that is totaly accurate. Might be a good way to try though. I just saw a pic of a Cyp in bloom on another website and it was grown in a pot. I hope this all makes sence. Again this is only info from what I have read and I have no experiance with them yet so take from it what you will. Happy growing.

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